Investors seeking shelter from plummeting equity markets in September 2008 learned a hard lesson: Sometimes the safe haven for your cash isn't as safe as it seems.
Prior to the crisis, retail investors turned to money market funds as a way to stash cash for short-term needs and earn some yield on their savings.
The perceived safety of these funds, which were designed to maintain a steady share price of $1, was upended following the bankruptcy filing by Lehman Brothers, one of Wall Street's most storied firms, 10 years ago this month.
The Reserve Primary Fund, a massive money market fund, held Lehman bonds. Institutional investors yanked billions of dollars from the fund, which knocked its share price from $1 to 97 cents on Sept. 16, 2008.
This is known as "breaking the buck."
"It was a wake-up call for investors who had gotten complacent for thinking a money market fund was as good as having money in a savings account," said Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar.
"What we learned was that the protections aren't the same for mutual funds," she said.
Here's what has changed.